Saturday, June 30, 2018

Modern Touch, Antique Paper

Book page from 1884
I have a passion for drawing and painting obviously, but I also have a love of printed materials; old books, maps, charts... Turn me loose at a flea market or antique store and I'll head straight for the ephemera. Whoever said that drawing and painting could only be done on a blank piece of paper or white canvas?

A printed page or map makes my heart beat faster. It encourages me to experiment, to add a part of me to the page, not to better it but to make it more personal. Let me clearly state I do not tear apart books. I use only those that are literally falling apart. The brown spots and yellowing of the antique pages only add to my vision. And an old engraving can spark an idea.

I use a variety of paper backgrounds from the 1800s up to the 1950s. Each page or map is different; paper thickness and surfaces which can range from slick to soft and pulpy, just soaking up the colors. Some papers are so old and brittle they will fall apart at the touch of your hand. Gradually I have learned to work with all of them. If it's a valuable antique map or chart and the copyright has expired, I'll reproduce it on cardstock. But the book pages I use are all original.

The way to handle these papers is to tailor your medium to the properties of the page or chart you're working with. For the thin, older papers, colored pencils are my choice. For the thicker, less porous ones, watercolor washes work beautifully. And for those in between, like Goldilocks, a combination of different tools is just right.

So here are some examples of my pages, charts and maps. Go visit a thrift store, find a book that interests you and is on its last pages and give it a try.

Original book pages from 1883 to 1937.

Colored Pencil

Colored Pencil

Colored Pencil, Ink

Reproduced maps from the 1800s

Colored Pencil

Colored Pencil, Ink

Watercolor, Ink

Watercolor, Ink

Reproduced Star and Moon Chart from the 1800s

Watercolor, Colored Pencil

Watercolor, Colored Pencil

All artwork Copyright E.M. Corsa 2018

1 comment:

  1. WOW! Love all of your found papers and how you’ve embellished them with your own touch. Yes, I might have to visit a place where I can find something as interesting...

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